DISTRICT POLICY FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF AND SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE GIFTED PARENT HANDBOOK

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1 DISTRICT POLICY FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF AND SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE GIFTED PARENT HANDBOOK Worthington City School District Gifted Services Department 200 E. Wilson Bridge Road Worthington, OH Enriched Placement Program

2 Worthington City Schools offers a continuum of services for identified gifted students. Through district-wide whole group screenings and individual referrals for gifted identification we are able to place students in a program designed to meet their individual needs as a gifted learner. IDENTIFICATION While the state of Ohio requires school districts to identify gifted students, there is no requirement that gifted services be provided. Our district is required to notify a parent(s) if their child meets the criteria to be identified as gifted in the areas of superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, creative thinking ability, and visual and performing arts. Whole group screenings for possible gifted identification in the areas of superior cognitive ability and achievement are administered district-wide. The MAP (Measures of Academic Progress), a state-approved nationally-normed achievement test for reading and math, is administered to students in grades two through ten a couple of times a year. Students in grade 4 are administered the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in the areas of science and social studies. The Cognitive Abilities Test (Cog AT) is a state-approved nationally-normed abilities test administered to students in grades two and four. Identification in the areas of creative thinking, visual and performing arts is available upon request. Parents receive a state identification letter if their child scores are at or above the 95 th percentile in an academic area on a state-approved nationally-normed achievement test (i.e. MAP) and/or achieves a qualifying score on a state-approved nationally-normed cognitive abilities test (i.e. Cog AT). Receiving a state identification letter does not mean your child is being offered gifted services in Worthington City Schools. The state identification letter should be retained. All summer honors institutes or camps require documentation that a student has gifted identification. Parents are notified in a separate mailing if their child will be receiving gifted services. Students whose screening scores fall in the screening range qualify for a second opportunity to meet the State of Ohio s criteria for gifted identification. The screening range for reading and mathematics on MAP is the 90 th to 94 th percentile. The screening range on the Cog AT assessment is 120 to 126 for 2 nd grade (identification is 127) and 120 to 127 for 4 th grade (identification is 128). Parents will be notified of additional testing opportunities. Individual students may be referred to our department for individual or small group testing at any time during the school year. A student may be given two opportunities a year to meet the identification criteria which includes the re-testing opportunity for those who fall in the retest range as a result of participation in a districtwide assessment. If a student transfers into our district from within the state of Ohio, Gifted Services reviews the assessments in their cumulative folder and makes arrangements for any additional testing that might be needed for them to qualify for services. If test results are submitted from out of state and the test(s) used for identification do not appear on our state approved list or scores are more than two years old, the student will be assessed using approved State of Ohio assessments. 2

3 REFERRALS All building principals and Gifted Intervention Specialists are provided with referral forms so parents can access them easily when visiting the buildings. The Gifted Services Department also s referral forms to parents upon request. A copy of the referral form is also available on the Gifted Services web page located on the Worthington City Schools district website. Assessment results and placement decisions are mailed to parents. Third through sixth grade mathematics referrals must be received by December 2, to ensure student placement by the end of the first semester, January 11, The seventh and eighth grade Enriched English referrals must be received by December 2, 2015 to ensure student placement by January 11, Referrals and assessments for the school year must be submitted by March 1, 2016 and assessments completed by May 28, 2015 to ensure student placement in the fall. Referrals for students who enroll in the district after these recommended timelines will be processed and placed on an individual basis. The assessments used by the district are on the state approved list and reflect accurate aptitude/achievement in students with physical and sensory disabilities. The Differential Abilities Scales II Test, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, and the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test are the instruments used to screen/assess students who are culturally diverse, economically disadvantaged, have a disability or have limited English proficiency. Minimum scores for the IQ vary depending upon the test administered and the age and/or grade level of the student. All tests are administered by certified teachers who have valid teaching licenses and school psychologists trained in formal testing protocols. SERVICES Gifted services are based on a student s area(s) of identification and individual needs, which will be guided by a Written Education Plan (WEP). Worthington s Service Plan on file with the Ohio Department of Education, requires us to deliver gifted services through the content area of mathematics in grades 3-6 and reading in grades 7 and 8. The Worthington City School s district service criteria for a student to receive services are different from the minimum state identification criteria for state reporting purposes. 3

4 The service criteria for grades 3-6 requires a student to score at or above the 95 th national percentile on a mathematics achievement test and score two standard deviations above the mean, minus the standard error of measurement, on a cognitive abilities test. The service criteria for grades 7 and 8 requires a student to score at or above the 95 th national percentile on a reading achievement test and score two standard deviations above the mean, minus the standard error of measurement, on a cognitive abilities test. Both criteria must be met for placement into our gifted services program at both the elementary and middle school levels. At the beginning of the school year, the Gifted Services Department hosts a curriculum information night for parents of newly identified gifted students. Parents receive written progress reports throughout the year evaluating their child s progress and describing the work completed in the gifted program. The gifted intervention specialists announce their parent/ teacher conference schedules at the fall open houses. If a parent or student has a need to meet outside the established parent/teacher conference schedule, a conference may be requested at any time. A parent conference is held to discuss any request for withdrawal from EPP. Parents are required to fill out a form to document that the student will be moved to an inactive status in the gifted program. Elementary Services In grades 3-6 students will learn and explore areas of mathematics appropriate for the gifted intellect using abstract reasoning and creative problem solving skills in an organized and timely manner to progress to the next curriculum level. At grades three and four Stepping Stones is presented in an accelerated and compacted curriculum with enrichment opportunities. At grade five, 6 th grade Digits exposes students to an accelerated curriculum. Grade six continues an accelerated depth, breadth and pace through 7th grade Digits, which is the next progression and prepares students for an accelerated math curriculum. In grades 3-6, grade level scheduling is coordinated so that mathematics is taught at the same time as general mathematics at each grade level. This may not be possible for students schedules that are formally accelerated across grade levels. Middle School Services The middle school (grades 7 and 8) program offers gifted services through the content area of Enriched English in a self-contained classroom. Math is not part of the middle school gifted program. High School Services The high school program offers many challenging opportunities for academically talented high school students. The following Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which prepare students to take national examinations for which they may receive credit at many colleges and universities, are offered: English Literature, English Composition, European History, US History, US Government and Politics, Calculus AB and BC, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, Computer Science, Music Theory, French, Spanish, Latin, and Studio Art. In addition, other enriched courses and co-curricular activities are available for students who wish to participate and challenge themselves. A student will receive a Written Education Plan (WEP) for an Advanced Placement course if they are identified in that specific course content area. 4

5 Advanced Placement Courses College Credit Plus Students who meet college grade point average (GPA) and other academic requirements may also enroll in college courses for high school and/or college credit. Parents should contact their student s counselor for details. A student will receive a Written Education Plan (WEP) for a College Credit Plus course if they are identified in that specific course content area. ACCELERATION A parent may request an acceleration placement at the building level in one of four categories: early entrance to kindergarten, single subject, whole grade, and early graduation. An acceleration option is a regular education accommodation for students who are extremely advanced beyond their current grade level and demonstrate mastery of all current grade level academic standards. Acceleration assessments include both on grade level and above grade level assessments (2 grade levels above the student s current grade level) and a cognitive abilities IQ assessment. Parents are required to complete the Iowa Acceleration Scale booklet with the building principal. The Iowa Acceleration Scale also assesses factors including the social/emotional development of the student. Acceleration referrals for the current school year must be received by December 2 nd so that placements can be made by January 11, Acceleration referral forms are available at each building and on the Worthington City Schools Gifted web page. A Written Acceleration Plan (WAP) is created for a student who receives an accelerated placement. Parents of accelerated students can learn more about Credit Flexibility options in the Ohio Department of Education Credit Flexibility Guidance document posted on the Worthington City Schools Gifted Services web page. Parents may appeal accelerated placement decisions to the Superintendent. WRITTEN EDUCATION PLANS During your child s elementary career, you will receive a written education plan (WEP) for your student enrolled in the Gifted Services Enriched Placement Program. To meet the guidelines set forth by the Ohio Department of Education, the Gifted Services Department is required to send a written education plan to meet the provision of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) (D) (4). The Operating Standards WEP clause reads: 5

6 The WEP shall: provide a description of the services to be provided including goals for the student in each service specified including, but not limited to, academic goals. provide methods for evaluating progress toward achieving the goals specified. provide methods and schedule for reporting progress to students. specify staff members responsible for ensuring that specified services are delivered. specify policies regarding the waiver of assignments and the scheduling of tests missed while participating in any gifted services provided outside the general education classroom. specify a date by which the WEP will be reviewed for possible revision. be given to all educators who are responsible for providing gifted education services to the student, including teachers providing differentiated instruction in the general education classroom. be provided to all parents who must sign a copy and return it so it can be placed in the child s permanent folder. If your student also has an Individualized Education Plan because they are receiving Special Education services, please note that the IEP document supersedes the WEP document. The written education plan is rewritten annually for each served gifted student. A copy of the written education plan is provided to the parent(s) of the served gifted student at the time of a parent - teacher conference or by mail correspondence. The Gifted Intervention Specialist is responsible for providing the service listed on the Written Education Plan. Gifted Services Personnel The elementary and middle school gifted intervention specialists are highly qualified teachers who receive extensive training in gifted education and participate in Professional Development work throughout the year. Each staff member holds or is working toward a gifted intervention specialist license. The building principal is responsible for ensuring the appropriate education of all students at the building level. The following gifted services departmental staff provides support at the building level to ensure appropriate service is delivered. Elementary Gifted Intervention Specialists Bluffsview Jim Amstutz Brookside Tierney Reider Colonial Hills Amy Scragg Evening Street Judith Oprandi-O Neill Granby Megan Wolfe Liberty Dawn Mack Slate Hill Kate Turner Wilson Hill Karrie Mowery Worthington Estates Sharon Bates Worthington Hills Brian Morgan Worthington Park Kathy Cermak

7 Middle School Gifted Intervention Specialists Kilbourne Middle Stephanie Breman Kilbourne Middle Robin Troth McCord Middle Marti Corna McCord Middle Justin Beattie Worthingway Middle Molly Smith Worthingway Middle Michelle Charity Administrative Staff Coordinator of Gifted Services and Enrichment Programs Mrs. Suzanne Palmer Department Secretary Mrs. Denise Pontious

8 For over 50 years, the Ohio Association of Gifted Children has represented the interests of gifted children in Ohio. The parent division was established to support both parent affiliate groups as well as individual parents of gifted students. Visit their website at to view parent resource information. Other Web Site Resources for Parents: National Association for Gifted Children Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted Hoagies Gifted Education Page Mathematics Games & Puzzles Mathematics Games of Fun, Perception and Challenge 8

9 District Contact Information Mrs. Suzanne Palmer Rev 9/4/15 9

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